The applause finally died down and Lieran dismissed the attendees for the evening. Racieus and Eira followed, with assurances from the guild master that he would follow up with them the following day with more of the details and protocols of the guild. As they made it out into the fast depopulating hallways the two paused for a moment, both still trying to grasp the extent of what had just happened. Though it was comforting for Racieus to know that Lieran never suspected him, he felt slightly obligated to the girl, Eira, for her defense of him. “I uh, appreciate what you did back there,” he said quietly. “Especially after… you know” he continued awkwardly, wanting to be polite and not bring up his victory.
“Don’t mention it” the girl said with a nod.
He cold have just let it go there and said goodnight, but sensing the opportunity to finally make a friend, he rambled on. “I… you were very impressive back there by the way. I thought I was going to lose. Who is your teacher?”
The girl looked away and shuffled her feet, as if embarrassed, or afraid. “I don’t tell too many people, because they usually get jealous or mad. The guild master teaches me every evening.”
“Lieran?” Racieus said in astonishment, his mouth agape. “He teaches me too, in the mornings when everyone else is asleep.”
Eira looked hard at the halfling, “And he never told you about me?” Racieus shook his head. “He never told me about you either.” She noticed the small assassin’s suspicious look and spoke hurriedly “I don’t think he meant anything by it. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to do that. I mean, why he assume he had to?”
After quick consideration, Racieus nodded. “Yeah. We’re probably making something out of nothing. How long have you been here? I’ve never seen you before, or heard of you for that matter, which, considering your skill, is surprising. You said you’d heard of me right?”
“Less than a year. And yes I have, but you are a halfling, and I’m just a human, I also avoid picking fights with jerks whenever I can” she remarked with a grin, then more seriously, “But I do try to keep a low profile as well. You can never be too careful, especially here. Enemies are a bad thing to have. You’ll want to watch yourself.”
“I will” nodded Racieus. The conversation was at it’s close and the halfling turned to leave, but Eira caught his arm and he turned back.
“If you ever want to train or something, just let me know. I’m usually in the practice room in the evenings. Or you could have Lieran get a hold of me” she smiled, and released Racieus’ arm, then walked down the hallway and disappeared around a corner. The doors opened behind the halfling and Lieran came out, nearly running into his student.
“Racieus! Just the man- er, halfling that I wanted to see!” He put an around the halfling and dragged him along as he made for his office. “I would like to personally congratulate you, as your teacher, on winning the tournament. I couldn’t be more proud!”
Raising his eyebrows, the halfling turned a sidelong glance on the guild master, “You couldn’t?” Lieran looked back at him questioningly, “What about your other apprentice?”
“Is that jealousy I detect?” asked the taller assassin, “And how long have you known that?”
“About two minutes” Racieus said matter-of-factly. “I didn’t even know she existed until the tournament.”
“Really?” Lieran looked genuinely surprised, “Well the two of you are rather isolated from each other. It’s actually funny if you think about it. You’re in bed about the time I’m finishing up with her training, and conversely, she’s just going to bed about the time you wake up.”
“So when do you sleep?” asked an incredulous Racieus, who, despite the logic Lieran was laying, found it hard to believe that he could have completely missed seeing his teacher’s other apprentice.
“Sleep? I’m not familiar with the term” joked the guild master, “though just so you know, I do have plans to bring you together. In fact I’ll probably start tomorrow. The two of you are a quite alike, and I think you’ll be quite beneficial to one another, but,” the assassin concluded, stopping in front of Racieus’ door, “I should let you sleep. We’ll talk about this more tomorrow.”